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As the Senate looks to wrap up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, competing amendments on cryptocurrency regulation are emerging as another challenge. The White House came out in support of an amendment put forward by a trio of bipartisan senators, but Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSchumer moves to shut down debate on T infrastructure bill The job of shielding journalists is not finished Up next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft MORE (D-Ore.) and two Republicans who offered an amendment of their own, argued the administration-backed amendment could stifle innovation.
Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is firing back at Facebook just days after the platform said its decision to suspend the accounts of two researchers was, in part, a result of its commitment to the agency.
A CRYPTO CLASH: A debate over competing amendments to regulate cryptocurrency is creating a new hurdle for the Senate to complete work on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
An amendment offered by two Republicans and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has stirred controversy and provoked opposition from the White House.
The amendment, which would carve out exemptions from the cryptocurrency reporting requirements outlined in the infrastructure bill, is sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sens. Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisSchumer moves to shut down debate on T infrastructure bill Former Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi dies after bicycle accident Former Sen. Mike Enzi hospitalized after serious bicycle accident MORE (R-Wyo.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.).
The White House supports a different amendment put forward Thursday by Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSchumer moves to shut down debate on T infrastructure bill In praise of Susan Collins’ persistent bipartisanship CBO says bipartisan infrastructure bill would add 6B to deficit over 10 years MORE (R-Ohio), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSchumer moves to shut down debate on T infrastructure bill In praise of Susan Collins’ persistent bipartisanship Hillicon Valley: Senators highlight security threats from China during rare public hearing | Facebook suspends accounts of NYU researchers who’ve criticized platform MORE (D-Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSchumer moves to shut down debate on T infrastructure bill In praise of Susan Collins’ persistent bipartisanship CBO says bipartisan infrastructure bill would add 6B to deficit over 10 years MORE (D-Ariz.). It has more narrow exemptions on the proposed regulations of the industry.
“The Warner-Portman-Sinema amendment provides a government-sanctioned safe harbor for the most climate-damaging form of crypto tech, called proof-of-work. It would be a mistake for the climate and for innovation to advance this amendment,” Wyden tweeted.
FTC FIRES BACK: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) slammed Facebook for sharing an “inaccurate” explanation after it suspended the accounts of researchers who have been critical of the platform.
The agency’s acting director of Bureau Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Senators highlight security threats from China during rare public hearing | Facebook suspends accounts of NYU researchers who’ve criticized platform Federal judge sanctions lawyers who challenged 2020 election results, calls claims ‘fantastical’ Senators press Zuckerberg over Facebook’s impact on youth mental health MORE on Thursday calling out the company for using what Levine deemed a misleading claim in its explanation.
“Had you honored your commitment to contact us in advance, we would have pointed out that the consent decree does not bar Facebook from creating exceptions for good-faith research in the public interest. Indeed, the FTC supports efforts to shed light on opaque business practices, especially around surveillance-based advertising,” Levine wrote, according to a copy of the letter shared publicly by the FTC.
PUT A FILTER ON THAT: Business review platform Yelp announced Thursday it is adding COVID-19 guidelines to its business listings, allowing users to filter companies based on vaccination requirements.
The platform said in a blog post that users will be allowed to filter businesses based on whether they require proof of vaccination and whether staff are fully vaccinated.
The company further said it will be monitoring Yelp pages of businesses that activate these attributes for any backlash they receive.
The move comes as businesses and some state and local governments impose stricter vaccine mandates amid an increase in coronavirus infections fueled by the delta variant.
Yelp said that in recent weeks it has seen a rise in “review bombing,” when businesses get a flurry of comments based on people’s opinions about the pandemic rather than their customer experiences.
PUT A MASK ON: Amazon will require that employees wear masks inside its warehouses regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“In response to the concerning spread of new COVID-19 variants in the U.S. and guidance from public health authorities and our own medical experts, we are requiring face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told The Hill in a statement on Friday.
Nantel added that the company is “monitoring the situation closely and will continue to follow local government guidance and work closely with leading medical healthcare professionals, gathering their advice and recommendations as we go forward to ensure our buildings are optimized for the safety of our teams.”
An op-ed to chew on: Deepfake Task Force: The danger of disinformation needs a new collaboration
Lighter click: You’re breaking up
NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:
DHS boss Mayorkas encourages hackers to join government during Black Hat speech (CyberScoop / Tonya Riley)
How a deepfake Tom Cruise on TikTok turned into a very real AI company (CNN / Rachel Metz)
Facebook cares about privacy — but only If you’re an advertiser (The Atlantic / Ethan Zuckerman)
Ransomware attack forces Indiana hospital to turn patients away (The Daily Beast / Shannon Vavra)